Through a Dog's Eyes
Understanding Our Dogs by Understanding How They See the World
By Jennifer Arnold
(Spiegel & Grau, Hardcover, 9781400068883, 240pp.)
Publication Date: August 10, 2010
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A stirring, inspiring book with the power to change the way we understand and communicate with our dogs.
Few people are more qualified to speak about the abilities and potential of dogs than Jennifer Arnold, who for the past twenty years has trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities and special needs. Arnold has developed a unique understanding of dogs' capabilities, intelligence, sensitivity, and extra-sensory skills. Her training method is based on teaching dogs to make choices—as opposed to following commands—through kindness and encouragement rather than fear and submission, and her results are extraordinary. To Arnold, dogs are neither wolves in need of a pack leader nor babies in need of coddling; rather, they are extremely trusting beings attuned to their owners' needs and they aim to please. Relationships between dogs and humans go awry when we fail to understand our dogs and when we send them confusing, mixed signals. Arnold's firsthand experience—from what moved her to start her exemplary nonprofit and how she developed her methodology—guides this book and gives it a powerful emotional heft. Stories drawn from Arnold's life and the lives of the dogs who were her greatest teachers are convincing, unforgettable, and compelling testimony and make this book a heart-warming, captivating read that will forever change the way you see your dog by showing you the way your dog sees the world.
Jennifer Arnold is the founder and executive director of Canine Assistants, a service-dog school based in Milton, Georgia. She lives with her husband, veterinarian Kent Bruner, son Chase, three dogs, Bob the cat, eight horses, and a number of other animals.
“Transformative . . . [Arnold] shares her methodology and stories of canine intelligence, sensitivity, language comprehension, and prescience bordering on telepathy. . . . Along the way, she emphasizes choice-based, positive-reinforcement-only teaching methods and shares valuable insights that every dog owner should know. Engagingly written with a perfect balance of science and observation, this book . . . is a worthy tribute to our canine friends.”
— Publishers Weekly
"Through vivid, memorable, moving stories, Jennifer Arnold provides a scientific argument for what dog lovers everywhere already know: Dogs love, dogs trust, dogs sense, dogs feel. And they deserve to be treated accordingly. This book’s message is simply the truth."
— Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
“Arnold’s voice is assertive with experience—her insights into working with dogs are hard-won after years of close interaction. … The author’s storehouse of anecdotal evidence is telling and entertaining, and her demolition of various alpha-model and negative-reinforcement teaching techniques is thorough and lofty.” — Kirkus